Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter 90210

The sixth film in the Harry Potter series, unlike the previous ones, is only loosely based on the book “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by J.K. Rowling. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, just a departure from previous entries. I think perhaps it is a wise choice seeing how the last two films have noticeably suffered by leaving elements from the books out. Half-Blood Prince services its source material well, telling the integral story and also keeping the crucial character elements. Anything that was jettisoned is forgivable here.

Daniel Radcliffe shows off his acting chops well, except for being a bit goofy (although it works) while under the influence of liquid luck, and is amazing to watch. All of the teen leads, especially Rupert Gint and Emma Watson (the latter sadly having little to really do this time out), also show their improvement over the years. I’ve never been a fan of Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore, and Jim Broadbent also disappoints but the rest of the regular cast turns in great performances no matter how small or large their parts are in this one. I like Tom Felton a lot but his Draco Malfoy feels flat to me except for when he actually physically confronts Harry. Their chemistry is hot, when they’re apart – not so much.

Speaking of hot, most of the film is thriving and thrumming with sexual energy and tension along with a good portion of teen angst. The character interplay in Half-Blood Prince is a fun game of who likes who and who should be with who. Throw in a charm potion or two and hilarity ensues. There were lots of little winks at the audience who have already read the books and knows who ends up with whom. It makes the film fun, especially good when the world it happens in is so dark and on the brink.

The fun doesn’t last forever as the final two acts take a turn into sudden horror and then melodrama. The same voices in that packed midnight theatre audience that were giggling over the young romance games are also the ones sobbing toward the end. It’s a powerful emotional rollercoaster. I enjoyed the film a lot, and didn’t mind one bit the deviation from the print version. And I’m looking forward to the final two installments, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which will be split into two segments, to be released some time in the next two years.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like it's going to be a good flick—can't wait to see it!